The carambola tree is a beautiful, subtropical plant with bushy foliage and lilac flowers. This tree produces an extended, star-shaped fruit.
Known as the star fruit tree, the finger tree, and the five-corner tree, it’s no wonder where the carambola gets its different names. This tree bears a long, light to dark yellow fruit with waxy skin.
Each fruit is oval-shaped and can be 2-6 inches in length. When cut crosswise into slices, each piece resembles a five-pointed star. The skin is thin and smooth. The inside flesh is yellow, crisp, translucent, and juicy. 10-12 light brown seeds are commonly located in the center of the fruit.
The carambola tree is indigenous to Southeast Asia. They grow best in subtropical or tropical climates, ideally in USDA zones 10 and 11. They can survive outdoors in zone 9, but only with proper protection from frost.
The carambola tree will grow best at temperatures of 68-95 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be planted indoors year-round and outdoors in the summer. They are small to medium height trees and can reach heights of up to 30+ feet with a diameter of 20+ feet. After they’ve matured, one tree can produce up to 200 pounds of fruit each year.